Ontario premier Doug Ford has been chastised, ridiculed, and criticized for connecting the imposition of carbon taxes with the possibility of an ‘economic downturn,’ or recession. While governments and economists assure us that the odds of a recession are remote, in light of the recent report by MMP insolvency trustees that reveals 46% of Canadians are within $200 of insolvency, one wonders if Canadians aren’t already in the middle of a recession.
What makes the whole debate fascinating is the superficial level on which economists are analyzing a very real and serious situation. It is difficult to reconcile the assurances of economists that Ontario’s economy is growing at a healthy rate with the visible reality of the growing rates of poverty that Canadians are reading about each and every day in their news reports.
Meanwhile, in the United States, there can be very little doubt that America is experiencing an economic resurgence unparalleled in recent history.
What is common to both the American and Canadian experience is how the Left in each country continues to suffer from the political Derangement Syndrome once only associated with America’s Donald Trump, but that is now surfacing with respect to Ontario’s Doug Ford. Of course, what has been called the ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ has always really been a deranged attitude associated with anything to be perceived on the Right.
Insisting that carbon taxes cannot possibly be a ‘cause’ of a recession, economists are demonstrating how ‘facts’ can be used to hide a truth as well as to reveal it. With their carbon copy recession predictions, all insisting that high interest rates are the real ‘cause’ leading to any threats of recession, the reality that half of Canadians are living hand-to-mouth is merely a back-drop to their irrelevant, though ‘factual,’ economic assessments and predictions.
Those looking for the real ‘cause’ of Canadians’ economic distress, have merely to consider that in Canada, taxes are the single greatest financial burden, surpassing the cost of the basic necessities of life. Amazingly, most economists and the government are arguing that an additional carbon tax will ‘only hurt’ the economy slightly, while putting the money ‘back’ (?!?) into the pockets of Canadians.
The old shell game of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ is nothing new, no matter how many ways it manifests itself. What is new is that the ‘economy’ seems to have become a separate entity from the people within it.
High interest rates are not a ‘cause,’ but a ‘consequence’ of the borrowing necessary to make ends meet while under the financial burden of having to deal with never-ending tax increases and increased government spending. What’s needed now is an economic analysis that’s Just Right, not just convenient for those looking to impose even more taxes.